Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

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While Japan previously dominated global consumer markets in innovative electronic products, the economy has failed to live up to this performance since the burst of the asset price bubble in 1992 and the subsequent lost decades. In the modern economy, startup companies have become synonymous with innovation. Most of these companies have emerged from Silicon Valley, as well as other startup hubs around the globe. However, critics have criticized Japan for the limited number of notable startup companies from the country.

My thesis seeks to answer the two following questions: First, what is the current state of Japan’s startup ecosystem? Second, what factors contribute to the current startup scene?

I seek to answer the two questions by analyzing the six main factors that make up Japan’s startup ecosystem: financial markets, state capital allocation, culture, global expansion, and human capital. In order to avoid any generalizations, my thesis attempts to use data, statistics, and surveys in order to back up most of the claims made throughout the thesis.